About These Discussions

(Edited to add that this 'about' describes the period between 2006 & 2008 when the classes were held at Core-Corner, which still exists and is a fine English-teaching establishment.)

These discussions are held twice weekly at Core-Corner, an English language center in Taiwan, under the aegis of ‘Cultural Exploration.’* We began in January of 2007. Some participants, like Mary and Clark (aka Superman) have been here from the beginning, others have come and gone, others have come and stayed.  
I type the discussions down verbatim in class, and edit them later for spelling and sometimes continuity. Otherwise, the discussions are as-is. Typically the beginning of the discussion is questions about the article and definition of terms, so I only start typing once the real discussion gets underway. Sometimes the discussion begins with people stating their position on the topic, sometimes it goes straight into things. Sometimes the discussions are not directly about the topic question.
Since some editing of the discussion transcripts is involved, they are never posted on the day of discussion. You may have noticed that the true date of posting does not match the listed date of posting. As I have time, I also add earlier topics and discussions to the website. In the beginning I tried to make the discussion topic fall above the discussions on the webpage, so the discussions were artificially dated to be the same day. Now I just list the discussion topic as the same date as the first time it was discussed, and list the subsequent discussions as being on the date they were actually discussed. Clear? Not? Oh, well.

*Asked to describe this class in 10 words or less, Maggie said: “Everything around us is culture.” Which is to say, all of our social interactions, how we eat, what we wear, how we do business, even what we say to other people, all of this is ‘culture’. So to study culture is to study who we are as human beings. Which is the point of this class: To learn, through discussion, who we are as human beings.

About Taipei

The Taipei group is composed of mostly women ranging in age from late 20s to middle 30s. Some of them are graduate students, some of them are just starting out their careers, some are experienced financial researchers, some are indispensable administrators at medium sized companies. Backgrounds include bio-science, engineering, finance, insurance, textiles, business administration and hospitality.

About Hsinchu

The Hsinchu group is composed mostly of men ranging from their middle 30s to their late 40s. Some of them work in the semiconductor industry, as sales managers or upper management, they work in R&D, or in setting industry standards at a quasi-governmental institution, and some of them work in finance. Backgrounds include several kinds of engineering, business administration, sales and finance.